Trawl to Trash

The accumulation of man-made marine debris along beaches, in estuaries, and the open ocean affects marine organisms and threatens human health, safety and the economy.

In an effort to prevent litter from entering the marine environment, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant launched the Trawl to Trash program, which engages the public in outreach and stewardship activities that educate communities about the impacts of marine debris and encourage use of the recycled trawl bags to collect and remove debris from Georgia’s waterways.

Local commercial fishermen creating a Trawl to Trash bag from recycled trawl net material.

As part of the project, commercial shrimpers are creating Trawl to Trash bags made of recycled shrimp net material.

The bags are distributed among recreational boaters, fishermen, outdoor enthusiasts, ecotourists, K-12 students and the general public who use the bags to stow their trash, so it doesn’t enter the environment.

Educational outreach and stewardship opportunities offered through the program are designed to foster the prevention of marine debris in coastal systems while encouraging citizens to become good stewards.

Through this program, which is funded by the National Sea Grant College Program, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant hopes to prevent litter from entering the marine environment and inspire behavior change in Georgia’s coastal communities, ultimately reducing the negative impacts of marine debris on the coast.



Get involved!

Participate in free Trawl to Trash educational programs that may include trawling on our research vessel, the Sea Dawg, to learning how to construct Trawl to Trash bags. Check out our event calendar at gacoast.uga.edu/events.

Volunteers who want to help reduce marine debris during monthly cleanups are invited to get involved in our Marine Debris Community Science Program. As part of this program, volunteers remove marine debris from local barrier islands, salt marshes and tidal creeks along the Georgia coast. Learn more by contacting Katie Higgins at kt.higgins@uga.edu.


Participants who use the bags during cleanups are encouraged to take photos and share on social media along with the hashtag #Trawl2Trash!




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